As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. We also participate in other affiliate programs and are compensated for referring traffic and business to them.
Despite being an antagonist, Darth Vader is one of the best known characters from George Lucas’ Star Wars franchise. This makes sense, since Darth Vader’s story is central to Lucas’s narrative, both in its evolution and in its legacy. This is why we have decided to make Darth Vader the topic of today’s article, or – more specifically – the moment of his redemption from Episode VI. So, if you ever wanted to know how did Darth Vader die in the movie, keep reading!
Although there are several theories out there, the most probable one is that Vader’s suit stopped working after being exposed to the Emperor’s Force Lightning, meaning that he could not sustain his vital functions, which resulted in his death.
When George Lucas launched the franchise in 1977, with the movie Star Wars (later titled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope for continuity reasons), no one expected that it would become one of the biggest stories of the modern area. Star Wars wasn’t initially that successful, but as the years passed, the franchise became a cult classic, attracting generations of fans and now encompassing nine main continuity movies, video games, several TV shows, comic books and a variety of merchandise that made George Lucas famous. The franchise is today owned by Disney, but wherever it might go after the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars will undoubtedly remain one of the pivotal parts of modern culture.
Now, let us see the answer to the main question.
Darth Vader and his powers?
The story of Darth Vader is even more complex. Darth Vader was actually born as Anakin Skywalker on the planet Tatooine, where his mother, Shmi, was a slave. As they were traveling across the galaxy, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi met young Anakin by accident and Qui-Gon quickly measured his midi-chlorian count, only to discover that it was larger than even that of Master Yoda. After Anakin won a race, Qui-Gon managed to liberate him and bring him in front of the Jedi Council. Unsure of his future, Yoda declined Qui-Gon’s request to train Anakin, but after Qui-Gon’s death and the promotion of Obi-Wan to the rank of Jedi Knight, Anakin became the latter’s Padawan.
Years later, Anakin fell in love with Padmé Amidala, although Jedi were prohibited to fall in love and exhibit such strong emotions. It was this relationship that would ultimately be his demise, as then-senator Palpatine (actually Darth Sidious) manipulated Anakin into betraying the Jedi and becoming his new apprentice, Darth Vader. Vader was responsible for the slaughter in the Jedi Temple, killing even the younglings in one of the most tragic events in the Star Wars franchise. Anakin Skywalker was supposed to bring the balance to the Force and end the war between the Light and the Dark Side, but he succumbed to the latter and created chaos that eventually led to the fall of the Republic and the creation of the Empire.
Darth Vader had one final clash with his master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, but was almost killed by his more experienced Master before the Jedi went underground. Vader was saved by Darth Sidious and turned into a cyborg, taking on his most famous form, as seen in the original trilogy.
Vader is undoubtedly one of the most powerful Force users in the franchise. Although being the ruthless tyrant he was, he used his powers for evil, you still cannot admire the abilities he possesses. He was great with the Lightsaber and has extraordinary abilities with the Force, some of which were actually frightening. His legacy plays an important part in the nine films and his “I am your father!” scene with Luke Skywalker is one of the most iconic moments in the history of cinema.
How did Darth Vader die?
In Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker willingly surrenders himself to Vader, who was earlier revealed as his father. Darth Vader tries to turn Luke to the Dark Side, offering him endless power if they killed the Emperor and ruled the Galaxy as father and son. Luke, of course, refuses and a duel begins. But, unlike the first time when the father battled the son, Luke was more experienced and put up a good challenge. This is how it all happened:
As you can see, Luke didn’t really want to fight his father and he only defended himself, fearing that the aggression might lead him to the Dark Side. It was only when Vader threatened to target Leia, Luke’s sister and his daughter, did Luke attack and he managed to overpower Vader very quickly, cutting his arm off in the process, which was pretty ironic if you ask us (and it was Vader’s second time, actually, since Obi-Wan cut of that same arm years ago on Mustafar in the famous “I have the high ground” scene).
Palpatine was amused and he tried to manipulate Luke into killing Vader, which would be his ultimate step towards the Dark Side of the Force, but Luke managed to calm himself down and he refused Palpatine, thereby sparing his father’s life. This, of course, angered the Emperor and he attacked Luke using his Force Lightning. This is how that scene happened:
Without his lightsaber, Luke would’ve and should’ve been killed by Palpatine, but this is where Vader’s redemption begins. After years of being a loyal Sith Lord, Vader remembered who he was and who was being killed in front of him and he decided to become Anakin Skywalker one last time. He stood up and grabbed his former Master, the Emperor, throwing him down a large chute, seemingly killing him, and saving his son. But, the cost of this redemption was high.
Namely, exposure to so much Force Lightning resulted in Vader’s suit malfunctioning and since his suit was the only thing keeping him alive after the incident on Mustafar, where he was left to die by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Vader way dying. He was breathing heavier than usual and it was obvious to all that his life was coming to an end. His redemption had been completed and he took one last opportunity to see his son, eye-to-eye, asking Luke to remove his famous helmet. Shortly afterwards, Vader died because he could not live without the help of his suit. This is the scene:
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!